At this point, anyone who uses a computer of some kind will be aware of the existence of scammers. I’m sure that anyone who is reading this article has had at least one cold call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft or BT, saying you have an issue with your computer or that they are going to cut off your internet unless you call them back.
Needless to say, neither BT nor Microsoft has the time to be cold calling people saying that they have issues with their equipment. This is all a front to try and get you to trust that they are from where they are claiming. Once they have your trust, the scam itself begins with them asking for access to your computer then claiming you have numerous issues with your machine. This then leads to them suggesting they can fix it for a large sum of money.
Unfortunately, over the years, scammers have found new and more devious ways of getting money out of people, and their tactics are becoming more and more plausible.
Here are just a few examples:
- Claiming to be from your bank
- Claiming your owed a refund from something
- Claiming you have won something
- Claiming they are supporting a product you may have been looking for help with.
So, if you think you might be the victim of a scam or something about a call sounds strange, here are a few things to look out for:
- Are they claiming to be from any legitimate company?
NO technology companies will cold call you. They will only call you if you have requested a call-back from them!
- Are they claiming they are going to cut off your internet connection?
No internet provider will ever just cut you off. They will always warn you in advance, usually by post that there is an issue and that you need to contact them. If you suspect an issue, call your provider yourself using the number provided in your paperwork.
- Are they claiming you have an issue with your computer?
It is IMPOSSIBLE for anyone other than yourself to know that you have an issue with your computer.
- Are they claiming to be from your bank?
Banks very rarely call customers unless there is a serious issue. If this is the case, they will usually provide identification to prove this to you. If at ANY point, you exhibit doubt or they ask you ANYTHING about your money, PIN number, account or personal details, hang up immediately and call your bank directly.
When it comes to webpages, things can be a lot harder to notice. Scammers are getting very good at making a scam website look very close to the real thing. Here are a few things to look out for on webpages, which could indicate they are malicious.
- Is the grammar on the website bad?
- Does the website look very basic in design and use a lot of stock photography?
- Does the website already claim you have an issue with your computer or device?
- Does the website give you a message of some kind when you try and close the page?
Here is an example of such a webpage, claiming to be a way of updating maps for a Garmin Device.
These are just a few ways to help keep yourself safe from scammers and what to look out for if you think you might have been the victim of a scam.
Here at SmartFix, we pride ourselves on making sure that you are the safest you can be when using your computer. If you have any questions, queries or think you may have been the victim of a scam, please feel free to contact us via the page on this website, calling us on 0131 209 7984, or by coming in-store and speaking to one of us.